Cosmin Olaroiu claims he is “200 per cent” committed to Al Ahli in the face of continued speculation surrounding his future.
The 47-year-old was not named on a four-man shortlist for the vacant UAE coaching job on Wednesday, having initially ruled himself out of the running to replace Mahdi Ali, while he has also been linked with taking over his native Romania.
Olaroiu’s contract with the Red Knights expires next year and he insists he is focused on the fight to retain their Arabian Gulf League crown, ?? which could be surrendered as early as today if they fail to beat Al Wahda following Al Jazira’s ?-? win against Al Shabab last night. ??
“I think I’ve already left Al Ahli for two teams having completed negotiations with clubs in the region judging by the rumours that go out every day,” Olaroiu said, tongue in cheek, at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“I am currently located in Al Ahli, where I have lasted for a long time, I am with my Al Ahli family and I plan to win and give 200 per cent under all circumstances.
“I have a commitment to the players and the team to offer everything I have and I also have an obligation to the fans to give all I have.”
Olaroiu confirmed former Al Ain striker Asamoah Gyan is unavailable for the trip to Abu Dhabi today through injury, while he also speculated that UAE striker Ahmed Khalil could miss out after picking up a slight injury in Tuesday’s 3-1 win at Saudi Arabia’s Al Taawon in the AFC Champions League.
Red Knights centre back Mohammed Jaber has “demanded” 12 points from his team-mates from Ahli’s final four league games if they are to stand any hope of retaining their AGL crown.
“We have to reap 12 points from the rest of the league games,” said the ex-Bani Yas defender.
“It will certainly be a tough match, but we are demanding we win every game we play. The season is not over yet and we have to win all four games and wait for the outcome of the rest of the games. We compete for the league until the last moment.”
Ahli face a tricky trip to the capital today, with the Clarets on a run of four straight league wins.
Javier Aguirre revealed he will rotate his team with an eye on next Wednesday’s crucial President’s Cup semi-final tie against Sharjah, although he added his team will fight for victory against today’s visitors to Al Nahyan stadium without the thought of looking to do their cross-town rivals Jazira a favour by beating Ahli.
“I will give some players rest in order to equip them well for the important match in the semi-finals of the President’s Cup against Sharjah on Wednesday,” said the Mexican.
“This will lead to some modifications to the squad that played against Al Hilal in the AFC Champions League (on Monday).
“Over the past few weeks in various competitions we have rotated between different players, according to the absences facing the team, whether injuries or suspensions, which have given the opportunity for all players to participate.”
And the former Atletico Madrid chief is keen to maintain his side’s good league run going, adding: “We seek to win after four consecutive league victories, and I am focused on my team without looking at the possibility of resolving the league title for the benefit of Al Jazira.
“The league title is not settled through 90 minutes, it is a product of work throughout the season.”
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